J. Edward Wright | The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies

Coronavirus Information

Until further notice, The University of Arizona, in accordance with the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, encourages all employees to work remotely. Our office in the Marshall Building is closed to the public, but you can reach The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies, Monday–Friday 8am-4pm, by phone at 520-626-5758 or by emailing either sbs-judaic@arizona.edu or Jackie Schmidt at jan1@email.arizona.edu.  You may reach Martha Castleberry by phone at 520-626-5765 or by emailing marthac@email.arizona.edu.  You may reach all faculty members by their email addresses posted on this website. Thank you!

Get COVID-19 updates and information for the University of Arizona community. Also, see SBS resources for continuing instruction and learning.

J. Edward Wright

About J. Edward Wright

Office Hours: Currently enrolled students should refer to the syllabus posted on D2L.
Office Location: Marshall Bldg., Room 420

  JUS 310 Apocalyptic Imagination
  JUS 372B The History & Religion of Ancient Israel: Ezra-Nehemiah to the Roman Period

J. Edward Wright is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism and has served as the Director of the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies at The University of Arizona since 2000. Wright received his Ph.D. from Brandeis University and did additional graduate study at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Harvard Divinity School.

Prof. Wright has received several national and international research fellowships, including a Yad Hanadiv/Barecha (Rothschild) Foundation Fellowship at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Wright has been a Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College, Duke University, and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the immediate past President of the W. F. Albright Institute for Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, and a past President of the Society of Biblical Literature, Pacific Coast Region. Wright is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Museum of Biblical Archaeology. He also serves as a Co-Editor of The Bible and Interpretation website. 

Dr. Wright’s area of expertise is early Jewish history and religion with particular interest in early Jewish apocryphal texts. These texts shed light on the non-traditional aspects of early Jewish thought and culture, and through his research Dr. Wright hopes to depict more accurately the rich diversity of Early Judaism. He has written many scholarly and popular articles and is the author or editor of five scholarly volumes.

The Early History of Heaven (Oxford University Press, 2000) traces the origin and development of the images of the heavenly realm in the ancient Near East and early Judaism and Christianity. The Association of College and Research Libraries and the American Library Association’s journal Choice recognized this book as one of “The Outstanding Academic Books” for 2000.

Baruch ben Neriah: From Biblical Scribe to Apocalyptic Seer (University of South Carolina Press, 2003) examines the evolution of a biblical figure whose legacy grew from that of a scribe who edited or wrote the Book of Jeremiah to that of an inspired sage who was granted a tour of heaven itself. This book illumines how the different portrayals of Baruch reveal the leadership models and religious values treasured by various early Jewish and Christian communities. 

In 2002 Wright edited a volume of scholarly essays assessing the work of the celebrated Syro-Palestinian archaeologist and biblical scholar William F. Albright. This volume, "The House that Albright Built," appeared as a special issue of the journal Near Eastern Archaeologist published by the American Schools of Oriental Research.

Wright also co-edited two other scholarly books.

He is currently co-editing a textbook entitled The Bible in Archaeology and History (Baylor University Press, forthcoming). 

Dr. Wright teaches courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level and regards teaching as one of his most important responsibilities. His reputation as an inspiring teacher and dynamic lecturer draw many to his university courses and public lectures. In recognition of his teaching Prof. Wright received “The University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences’ Most Distinguished Teaching Award.” He also has won the University’s two highest teaching awards. Following a demanding review, the University’s faculty awarded Wright the “Leicester and Kathryn Sherrill Creative Teaching Award.” The students have also honored Wright’s teaching by awarding him the “Five Star Teaching Award.” This award, which is given by the Honors College on behalf of the entire student body, is the highest teaching award given by the students of The University of Arizona. 

J. Edward Wright's picture

Contact Information

J. Edward Wright
Ph.D., Director and The J. Edward Wright Endowed Professor of Judaic Studies
Telephone: (520) 626-5758
Office: (520) 626-5763

Courses Taught

310 "Apocalyptic Imagination"
438/538 "The Book of Psalms"
372B "History and Religion of Israel (Ezra-Nehemiah to the Roman)"
426/526 "The History of Heaven"